I'm only hoping that people will soon step back from partisan extremes that seem to color everything nowadays and assess things with a clear head!
You're assuming that partisanship (well, extremes of partisanship) and having a clear head are opposed. That needn't be the case; and indeed, here, it seems very clear that it isn't
For example, you correctly note that there were screwups at the local and state levels. Not gonna argue with that. What I will note, however, is that the Stafford Act (which covers disasters such as this) makes it clear that during an Incident of National Significance (? forget the term of art) the Federal government, specifically DHS & its agency FEMA, take primary responsibility for disaster management once the governor has requested federal aid and once the president has concurred, which happened on the 27th (retroactive to the 26th). This is confirmed in both the National Response Plan (NRP) and the DHS mandate, both available on the DHS website.
[Additionally, one of the triggers of the NRP is specifically when the governor of the affected state claims that the disaster will "overwhelm" the resources available to the state and local authorities, rather obviously the case here. Under such circumstances it's even more important for the Federal agencies to respond in a timely fashion.]
The upshot is that yes, if I were a Louisiana voter, I'd have to think long and hard about whether to vote for Nagin or Blanco in the future. I'm not. What's more, while they screwed up, at the moment their screw-ups appear to be on a fairly mundane level; to put it another way, I don't expect all that much out of the local and state governments in the first place simply because they don't have the resources at their disposal to handle an event of this magnitude. [Hence the provisions of the Stafford Act and the NRP.] The Federal government, otoh...
...well, let's just say, they're culpable. Really, seriously, truly, madly, deeply culpable. From the budget cuts to FEMA to the appointment of a succession of grotesquely underqualified managers, from the grandiose DHS rhetoric that is so transparently unjustified to the literally billions of dollars that have clearly been squandered, from the hijacking of qualified first responders into propaganda positions to the obstruction of aid to affected areas, from Bush's electoral claims of "strength" and "leadership" to Cheney's claims that a Kerry win would make us vulnerable to attack... it's clear that the Bush Administration has been lying to us for four years and it's cost of thousands of innocent lives.
[BTW, anyone more bilious than I feel like comparing Bush's immediacy of response to Schiavo with his lackadaisical sauntering around Katrina?]
Now, it happens that all of these are Republican faults. Tough noogies: when you control all three branches of government and something preventable goes wrong, yeah, it's pretty much your fault by definition. Partisanship would be to say that it's the Republicans' fault, let's find out why; objectivity says, wow, the Feds screwed up big-time... and it happens that they're all Republicans. As I said, tough noogies. Rest assured that if these were Democrats who'd screwed up, or Libertarians, or Socialists, or whoever, I'd be calling for their heads as loudly, as angrily, and as clear-mindedly as I am right now.
To repeat what I said previously: people screwed up. As a result, a whole lot more died. Heads must roll. And if it comes down hard on your party, well, I hope you like steak 'cause your sacred cow is gonna get slaughtered.
Edited by Anarch, 08 September 2005 - 05:06 PM.